Zimbabwe news December 15, 2013

Zimbabwe players boycott domestic game

ESPNcricinfo staff

Zimbabwe's domestic players from the Mountaineers franchise, and a few senior players of the Mashonaland Eagles team, refused to take the field for a Pro50 game in Mutare on Sunday, following through with a threatened boycott over unpaid salaries. The players have extended their deadline to Monday telling Zimbabwe Cricket that unless monies appear in their accounts, the four-day fixture, scheduled to start on December 17, will also not go ahead.*

The Eagles team had traveled from Harare to Mutare for the one-dayer against the Mountaineers, without their senior players who had chosen to stay behind and honour the boycott. They were eventually awarded the match because they arrived at the ground, but the Mountaineers, the home side, didn't. Another Pro50 match between Southern Rocks and Mid West Rhinos got underway in Kwekwe. However, Rhinos players Brendan Taylor, Vusi Sibanda and Malcolm Waller were not a part of the playing XI.

On Friday, Zimbabwe cricketers had threatened to go on strike following delays in the payment of their salaries and had given their board a deadline of December 15 to pay up. It was learnt that players on national contract had not received payments for the last four months, while dues to players on domestic contracts had been delayed by two months.

ESPNcricinfo understands Zimbabwe Cricket has asked the ICC for an additional loan of US$3 million but an insider said the ICC may only agree to that if ZC provided an audit of the funds they received from the Targeted Assistance and Performance Programme earlier this year. Some of that money is believed to have been used to pay match fees for the Pakistan series, over which the Zimbabwe players threatened to strike.

In August this year, the Zimbabwe cricketers had formed a union to participate in salary negotiations prior to the series against Pakistan. The board's financial condition also resulted in Sri Lanka's tour to the country in October being deferred. That delay meant the national team would not play from September until February next year, and a lack of match practice was a major concern ahead of the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

This week a solution emerged with Afghanistan willing to pay their own way for three T20s and an ODI in Zimbabwe in January. It has now emerged that ZC is exploring the possibility of playing those matches in Bangladesh, rather than at home. Part of the rationale for that is to acclimatise to subcontinent conditions but it is understood that a lack of funding is also a consideration.

The domestic competitions in Zimbabwe, scheduled to begin in November, were also delayed due to financial problems but the tournaments were finally held without any sponsors.

* 0852GMT, December 15, 2013. This article has been updated with news of the players' boycott

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Graham on December 16, 2013, 17:09 GMT

    @ZCFOUTKAST...Even you must realise that this board running ZC just cannot do it!!!If you are a real supporter of Crcket in Zimbabwe, then you must call for an adjustment to things there like the rest of us do..

  • ZCF on December 16, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    @GuiltyGuy, what makes you think the board is dysfunctional? The problem is no revenue is available, and there are no forseeable means to ensure that revenue can be generated. Cricket in Zim will only survive if grants are given. Period!

    The reason why Africa is where it is today is because outside forces never understood that the "sovreignty" of a nation and it's people's affairs applies to Africans as well. Not just them alone! What makes you think an ECB/BCCI etc appointed commission would run things better than the existing Zimbabweans? Any prescribed solution must adhere to Zimbabwe&ZC's sovreignty. No oversight of any segment should be "subcontracted"!

    Besides, just like foreign players command huge fees, foregin administrators as well would have to be paid(or their salaries subsidised) amounts which will dwarf what the current administrators in ZC earn as it is. So what would that have achieved exactly? Morgan&Speed wouldn't take Chairman&MD at Peter&Mukondiwa's salaries!!

  • Dummy4 on December 15, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    What a sorry state of affairs, at the end of the day, if they can't afford to pay players or host matches, where to for the Zimbabwe cricket team?

    If the ICC stump up the $3M loan they should appoint their own people to the board and run Zimbabwe Cricket themselves.

  • Bludging on December 15, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    ICC should take over running of the team and just play on the road like Pakistan does. Base them in Dubai until the Zanu occupation of Rhodesia ends and Salisbury returns to normality.

  • Prashant on December 15, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    Can't ICC make an interim over-ruling contract of sorts to pay the players directly instead of loaning money to ZC? That way they can still wait for ZC to provide the audit but at least the players will get their long-deserved dues and continue playing. Don't let the players take the fall for a dysfunctional board. ICC and possibly even other well-to-do boards (CA, BCCI, ECB, etc.) should step in and help.

  • Joe on December 15, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    @Vanilla_Slice the point is the ICC do already provide the funds, the mods here obviously missed the irony in my last post if you read back you will see the funding that ZC already receive. the players that are left in Zimbabwe are trying to keep the game alive there despite the efforts of the administration. There is no point in putting more money into Zimbabwe until a professional and competent administration is put in place. The players on the ground deserve better but without a step change in the administration nothing will ever change on the ground.

  • Sebastian on December 15, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    The ICC should grant Zimbabwe with funds but as part of granting the funds, money and future salaries owed to players should be paid directly by the ICC to the players and not by ZC. This would protect the players and guarantee the money they signed for in their contracts. ZC has proven time and time again that they can not be trusted to pay their players. I also agree with the ICC wanting to audit ZC to find out where exactly previous funds have gone to.

  • Justin on December 15, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast I might agree with you were Zimbabwe playing Ireland in Zimbabwe where they are very competitive in home conditions against most if not all opposition sides. Sadly for you the games Zimbabwe will play against Ireland are being played offshore where Zimbabwe has consistently been woeful and Ireland has been consistently competitive. As for no first class cricket when it comes to Ireland, it's not true is it?! Porterfield, Stirling, Joyce, N.O'Brien, K.O'Brien, Murtagh, White and Dockrell all play first class cricket in English County Cricket teams and more to the point they are very, very experienced in the shorter forms of the game in T20s and ODIs the two forms of the game Ireland will be playing Zimbabwe in. How many of Zimbabwe's top flight players play County Cricket in England? It's none isn't it? As for past results, that was then and this is now. Ireland as a cricketing nation is now richer in depth, skill and experience than it has ever been. Can't say that for Zim.

  • Dummy4 on December 15, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    World cricket needs a stronger Zimbabwe. Hope, circumstances change for the better soon. All the best.

  • Joe on December 14, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    There is nothing else for it the ICC should immediately guarantee to pay Zimbabwe Cricket a minimum of $7million a year in funding and at least an extra $500,000 in TAPP funding for their high performance program. Anything less surely will not be enough to help them out of this slump they find themselves in!

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